Apex Founder and Organizer, Jonathan Alex Strife Lugo, Resigns After Death and Rape Threats
Apex is one of the biggest tournaments held in New Jersey founded and hosted by Jonathan “Alex Strife” Lugo. The series started in 2009 featuring Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. Melle.
Apex had the largest Brawl tournament in 2012 with 400 entrants and, in 2014, Apex hosted the now third-largest Melee tournament with 629 entrants, the second largest Brawl tournament with 370 entrants, and the largest Smash 64 tournament with 157 entrants. In this year it also included the Brawl mod for the first time, Project M, with 382 entrants becoming the largest tournament for the Project M.
Recently, however, Jonathan “Alex Strife” Lugo became the focus of attacks after announcing the tournament would leave out the popular mod title from its lineup. Project M is not an officially licensed Smash title even with its large following.
Fans of the title unleashed their frustration out on the organizer via social media. It quickly escalated into rape and death threats against his family members.
"To those thinking it was just the threats it was not. It was the threats, rape threats on my friends, and certain people who I thought were friends just talk me down. I am just sick of the drama. I do not want to have to get into it but I just wanna say this is my decision and my decision alone. We all have limits. Apex will go on but I won’t. Please do not take it as anything beyond that.”
It is confirmed that Lugo has since then resigned from involvement with Apex leaving supporters in shock. Smash community spearheads quickly commented against the toxic community that lead to Lugo's resignation. Wynton “Prog” Smith, Melee commentator and co-host of the Melee It On Me podcast did not censor his reaction to the ludicrous threats.
done. end it. go play and remember why the fuck you got involved in the scene. have fucking fun instead of starting bullshit.
— MIOM| el-prog (@progducto) November 10, 2014
In support for Lugo, Apex, and 15-year-old game, many fans have begun using the hashtag “#WhyISmash” detailing thousands of stories of what the tight-knit community meant to them.
#WhyISmash Because I've had nothing but great experiences playing any version of Smash with anyone. Maybe except any Meta-Knight in brawl!- Alex Jebailey Creator of CeoGaming @CEOJebailey
Having a relaxing evening out with @MacDsmash @NME_Xzax @NME_Tyrant @J_Ambition @SkyWilliamsTho & others! #WhyISmashhttp://t.co/mxruYtaFhT - D1SmashBros Player Esports Commentator @xD1x
The pocket of the community that forces the passionate few to flee are nothing more than disillusioned members with no part in the gaming community for which they so passionately believe to be their's.
This same type of harassment campaign is spilling throughout professional esports scenes, games journalism, and even professional game development. Can there be nothing more than hashtags and tweets to be done to counter these di-illuminati?